Suncare Hits and Misses Feat. Shiseido & SunBum
I am that friend who is always reminding everyone to pack sunscreen for beach trips and long outdoor weekends. Sunburns not only suck in the few days after when you're as red as a lobster and shedding skin but they increase your risk for skin cancer as well. Unfortunately there seem to be more icky sunscreens than pleasant ones so I have a personal vendetta to find the best lotions, sprays, oils and whatever other forms sun protection comes in.
Shiseido has been a long time brand favorite when it comes to suncare. Their Ultimate Sun Protection Cream in the dark blue packaging was probably the first sunscreen I enjoyed using years ago and helped me incorporate sunscreen into my morning skincare routine. Right now I'm using the Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 40 ($33) for my face and I'm really enjoying it. It's easy to spread on the skin and it doesn't leave a major white cast. It does have a bit of glow to it, more so than the aforementioned Ultimate Sun Protection Cream, but it still wears well under makeup. The scent is lightly fragranced and I generally like the scent of Shiseido suncare products, although your preferences might be different. For me this product is definitely a hit!
Admittedly I'm not always great about wearing sunscreen when I'm in a rush in the morning but still want to wear a bit of makeup. That's what led me to purchase the Shiseido Sports BB SPF 50+ ($38). This BB cream is billed to be long wearing and transfer resistant while giving a touch of coverage. I like this tinted sunscreen because I can apply it with my fingers for a streak-free finish and it really does last throughout the day. I usually go makeup-free when I'm working out or outdoors for a long period of time but on days where I want to go a bit more glam, this is perfect. I have the shade medium which is just right for my summer skin tone but unfortunately this only comes in three shades so not everyone will find a match. The downside to this product is that there is a noticeable white cast in flash photography and under fluorescent light this makes me look very gray and just plain odd. Despite these downsides, the reason I purchased this was to mainly wear it outdoors and in natural lighting so for me, this is another hit.
The last Shiseido sunscreen I have in my possession right now is the Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ for Sensitive Skin and Children ($42). This was gifted to me by PR awhile back when it first launched and I was really excited to try it. I had issues with some of the Shiseido sunscreen lotions in the past because they contained a lot of alcohol in the formula to make the consistency very fluid and lightweight. Thankfully this formulation does not contain alcohol or fragrance so it does not irritate my skin at all. I also found that it protects very well due to the Wetforce technology which is supposed to increase the sunscreen's efficacy when exposed to water or perspiration. Unfortunately this is also where my issue with this product lies. This is so hard to get off your skin! In addition to having a major white cast even in natural lighting, this sunscreen stays put even after an hour in salty beach water followed by a shower. When I wear this sunscreen I can be assured my skin is being protected but it's very visible and just not a flattering look.
Being a long time Shiseido sunscreen user, I'm a bit of a suncare snob. But I'm happy to report that I've found a good and affordable line that I enjoy. If you're not interested in shelling out over $30 for a sunscreen, check out Sun Bum. I bought their Sunscreen Lotion in SPF 30 and SPF 50 ($10 for 3 oz. travel tube) for my Tulum vacation back in April and both were great. I can't really tell a difference between the two honestly so I would suggest getting either. The lotion is lightweight and easy to smooth over my skin. The scent reminds me of a sweet banana bread pudding or something of the sort and I don't find it too cloying. I like this sun lotion because it's really easy to reapply. While it doesn't have the staying power of the Shiseido lotion, I can reapply the Sun Bum ones several times a day without feeling like I have a thick layer of product on me - and there's no awful white cast either. This affordable sunscreen gets a thumbs up from me! I want to try their spray-on formula at some point as well.
I also brought a tube of the Sun Bum Cool Down After Sun Lotion ($8 for 3 oz. travel tube) with me to Tulum as my body lotion. It has a slightly lighter consistency than the sunscreen and it appears to have some kind of very subtle shimmer in the formula, though I don't see mica or any shimmer additive in the ingredients list. The same banana scent is present in this lotion. My boyfriend got a pretty nasty sunburn on our first full day in Tulum and he felt that this lotion helped him feel a little less sore so I guess you can take his word for it. I hope you don't find yourself in that predicament. I personally don't see this after sun as a must have but it's a good summer body lotion so if you like the scent, give it a shot.
I'm heading to Miami for Fourth of July weekend so I'll be using up what's left of the Shiseido lotion and Sun Bum tubes. I also just bought a travel size of the Supergoop Super Power Sunscreen Mousse to bring with me which I'm pretty pumped about. I've never used a mousse sunscreen before and the reviews for this one are really positive. I'll report back on whether or not I like it and if it's better than traditional lotions and sprays. What are your favorite sunscreens for face and body? Are you forever looking for the latest and greatest in suncare or do you stick to tried and true favorites?